Zach Manzer

Zachary Manzer

Ph.D. Candidate

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Research Assistant




  • Cornell Chemistry-Biology Interface Trainee
  • NSF GRFP Honorable Mention



I am working on a biomimetic device for on-demand cell-free synthesis of glycosylated proteins. Membrane proteins are an integral part of cellular processes and thus far their direct use for biomanufacturing applications has been limited. My research aims to create a bio-mimetic microfluidic reactor that supports and controls transmembrane proteins in a native membrane environment. My current focus is on directing the complicated synthesis of glycomolecules – proteins and lipids that are decorated with specific sugar groups. The presence and defined structure of these glycans directly dictate the behavior of many therapeutic proteins and antibodies and controlling them will enable us to study and synthesize personalized medicines.


Professional Development

In addition to my graduate research, I am actively involved in several professional activities. I am a representative in the Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Association (ChEGSA) and volunteer in the yearly CBE WOMEN event. I also volunteer as a CNF Outreach Ambassador helping students learn about nanotechnology. When I have time, I help out as a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts. Additionally, I’m working as part of a departmental initiative to help improve inclusion for all people who study here.


Fun Facts

When I’m not in the lab I love spending time in the outdoors – hiking, skiing, camping, or just walking through the many nature trails in the area. I also enjoy cooking, baking, and anything else that lets me spend time with my amazing wife, Kaitlyn!